Town Toolkit | Public sector led: Council headquarters, Dumbarton
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Public sector led: Council headquarters, Dumbarton

Conceived as a catalyst for the regeneration of Dumbarton town centre, the £15m new council building has retained the prominent A-listed façade of the former Burgh Hall and Dumbarton Academy (which had been derelict for many years) and developed a brand-new state of the art headquarters building for 500 staff. The building has improved access to staff and services for residents, boosted trade in nearby businesses, stimulated development of adjacent sites, and brought savings to the council in the region of £400,000 per year through energy efficiency.

Equally importantly, the project is putting the Scottish Government’s Town Centre First Principle into action and helping bring new spending, investment and confidence to the town centre. Moving public servants into the town centre has brought a vacant building back to life. In a conscious effort to simulate the adjacent High Street, no canteen was provided in the building: staff are encouraged to use local shops and cafes, and new businesses have set up in the surrounding streets to meet this demand.

Since the new headquarters opened in 2017, development of adjacent town centre sites has begun including 160 new homes and a new supermarket, to encourage even more footfall back into the town centre. The award-winning project has also brought back to life a prominent historical building in the town centre, with a major focus on heritage conservation and design excellence, thanks to support from Historic Environment Scotland with a £0.5m grant. For more information, check out this Historic Environment Scotland case study.

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